I have ‘borrowed’ the  quote below from a  blog by Kieran at Make Your Betting Pay. 

Keiran says:

“We need to strike the right balance between leveraging our profits and protecting the integrity of our bank.

My usual starting point when carrying out this kind of analysis would be to calculate the longest expected losing run over 1000 bets. There is a formula for calculating this (mail me if you’re interested) but I tend to use a table which makes life a lot easier. I’ve reproduced the table below (it’s accurate enough for our purposes)

The important thing to remember here is that the larger the number of bets you look at, the longer the likely losing run will be. As an example with a 15% strike rate looked at over 1000 bets you are likely to hit a maximum losing run of 43 bets. However, if you were to have 10,000 bets with a similar strike rate, at some point you are likely to hit a losing run of 57 bets. That being the case, it’s useful to have a reasonable idea of the number of bets your selection method is going to throw up over a period of time. If you are looking at a method that throws up 300 bets a year then calculating your longest likely losing run over 1000 bets is ample. If you are looking at a method that throws up 10,000 bets a year, you need to dig a bit deeper than that.

Let’s assume the method we are analysing has 1000 bets a year with a strike rate of 60%. We can see from the table that we are likely to hit 8 consecutive losers at some point during year 1.

You can see that if we were to choose a 10% staking plan on such a method, we are almost certain to hit trouble and quite possibly decimate our bank at some point.

We therefore need our bank to be several times the size of our longest likely losing run – it is well within the realms of statistical possibility that we could get 2 such runs in quick succession!

For safety, I would say it is best to work with your bank broken down into a number of points that equates to 5 times your longest likely losing sequence.”

I heartily agree . There is no doubt that basing your staking on avoiding one long  losing run is folly as it is more common that a series of losing  runs is the bank breaker. Therefore it is wise to allow for this.


We tend to go for the higher strike rate/shorter odds selections. Why? Because the higher the strike rate, the more of our bank we can stake.

Let’s say we have a one thousand pound bank and a strike rate of 20% . 

According to the chart, you could expect a losing run of 31 over a thousand bets. But that’s not the whole picture. There will be many losing runs in the twenties and, as Kieran says, who’s to say you won’t hit (or beat!) the maximum soon after the first time!?

So, using Kiearan’s advice, your bank would have to be 5 x 31 = 155 points. Using a £1K bank, the stake would be £1000 divided by 155 = £6.45 and you could expect typically long waits between wins.

Our short price/high strike rate philosophy means one of two things. Either you don’t need so big a starting bank or you can bet a bigger proportion of a bigger bank.

To take the £1000 example. With a 50% strike rate we can expect a losing run of 10. Multiply by 5  and we have 50. Divide that into  the bank of 1000 and our starting stake is £20.

Or, to take a different approach, we can back to the same £8 stakes as in the first example above from a bank of just £400, rather than a thousand.

We are a bit less conservative than Kieran. We use compounding and bet to stakes of 2.5% of the bank. After a winning day we up our stakes to 2.5% of the new, increased bank. After a losing day we reduce the stake to 2.5% of the reduced bank. So, in a losing run, stakes automatically reduce. But in a winning run, they increase. This way we capitalise on winning runs but reduce losses on losing runs.

To recap: your stake is your expected longest losing run in a thousand bets mutiplied by 5 (I would say 4 if you are compounding your stakes). Divide your bank by this figure and you have your first stake.


This a greatly underestimated factor in betting. Some thrive on risk others prefer the more softly softly ” I don’t need the stress as  I would like to live to spend the winnings” approach. 

For even the most successful pro gamblers the odds and strike rate will not be too different. 50% winners at average odds of 6/5 would give a 120% Return On Investment (ROI) or 20% profit on stakes. They would be delighted with that.

I know the average punter’s dream is a selection method that produces a 30% strike rate at average odds of 8/1. But this is unheard of.

But even if  a more realistic 15% winners at 8/1 was possible, almost no-one would have the belief and discipline to see it through. With a 15% strike rate, the chart shows 43 as the longest losing run to expect. How many of us would get to even half those losers before giving up?

Having surveyed our subscribers, we know these losing runs, or, more accurately, the psychological effect of them, are their biggest bug bear. We are currently perfecting something that will go a long way to solving this problem so keep an eye on your inbox.


    2 replies to "Strike rate and losing runs, a cut out and keep table"

    • courtney833

      What a refreshing read about you and your brothers history and have signed in to your site.

      I look forward to hearing more from you and in the meantime leave you with a quotation which I particularly like from a book called Against the Odds written by David-Lee-Priest……"Some Psychologists would say that your self esteem and, to a lesser extent your happiness are in direct proportion to your willingness to take risks. If you have dared to reach out and touch your dreams then you can have no regrets and this is a most enviable state"

      • mark

        Hi Courtney833


        Sorry about the delay in replying.


        It is rare that the comments section is looked at these days as

        It’s a lot of work keeping any eye on things.

        The epithet ‘ Gambling ‘ speaks for itself. Life is a gamble – being born is a gamble

        and thank goodness enough of us survive against all the odds.

        So in perspective losing a few quid on a horse is not really that much of a loss
        unless you are betting to survive of course. M

        The problem with what we do is that everything is seen through the prism of

         results and it is always difficult to explain to subscribers that with winning runs

        come losing runs. Like Love and Marriage – you can’t have one without the other.

        We have been round the clock a fair bit and we have seen briliant starting runs

        with some of our services only for them to fall as the probabilities gain their revenge.

        We have also subscribed to services over the years ourselves and they all do the same.


        It’s not that we or them are Charaltans – we genuinely want winners and everyone to win

        if possible but we can’t get 8/1 winners or predict them for the next two weeks, it’s impossible.

        But we can have good days where we try to win some back and as you may know being right

        about a selection winning is just as important as the odds. It’s being right which is why being wrong

        is a pain in the backside. Parodying David Lee Preist – it also is  the direct proportion inverse to your personal

        judgement.  When you are wrong it’s personal for a while but if you are back in there fighting the

        next day then you are trusting your judgement again. It’s self esteem more than anything.

        The bookies work on the principle of punters not sticking to a method or system of betting and obviously

        it pays. The Frankie backers no doubt got a lot of stick from ‘ expert ‘ gamblers  in the bookies  whilst betting him
        in multiples week in week out but imagine their pride when the 7 horses won?

        We are all after that big win and good luck to anyone who sticks to their guns and gets it.

        We only need one in a lifetime and we are only here once. I’m not saying you should spend your gas bill money

        trying to achieve it but like the Lottery you have to be in it to win it.

        More top class racing at Aintree and nice to see Cue Card win . It lost a potential million at

        Cheltenham when it fell.

        Colin Tizzard didn’t retire it – he proved that it could have won by winning at Aintree.

        No taking the ball home from him. There’s a lesson there for all of us I think.

        Mark. admin 









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